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Thread: Repair a canvas canoe

  1. #1

    Default Repair a canvas canoe

    Maybe I'm in the wrong subforum, but I've found a beautiful old canvas canoe for sale, but it's slightly damaged.

    I'm not that handy, but I wonder how canvas canoes are fixed. The seller wrote that a piece of canvas needed to be replaced, but how do you replace just a part of the canvas?
    Could I get any tips on how a damage like the one on the picture can be fixed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010


    That looks a bit more than slightly, I'm afraid. There's a good thread on recovering a canoe (done very thoroughly)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Eastern England


    There are a few members who have worked wonders with older wood-canvas canoes. You might want to search for posts by Blott (Nick) who is head of the UK branch of the wooden canoe heritage association, alick burt, or samB. They (and others) achieve remarkable things repairing older boats.
    Good luck (and if you blogg your repair you can provide inspiration to others).

  4. #4


    Thanks for the replies. I guess it would be too much work for me right now. I have my hands full as it is, so if it's not a quick somewhat easy repair it probably won't be done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Canvas can be repaired many times before recovering is necessary. Depending on the damage, you could be back on the water within a couple of days and have made an almost invisible repair, however, from your picture that looks more like a recanvassing job.

    If you want to own a cedar/canvas boat, I'd buy it now if it was a good price rather than have to wait for one in future. If you buy it, I'd be happy to coach you through the job (it's honestly not that difficult - I've re-canvassed an 18' boat in less than 4hrs (but maybe more than that is needed)) or depending where you are based, help out for beer money.

    Read my blogs here, here, here, and here. Its a shame that photobucket no longer works on here, but if you want I could probably work out how to send a link to show you pictures.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Southport, really in Lancashire, UK


    Lots of stuff here from Mike Elliott. He has written a helpful book too, This Old Canoe.

    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan

  7. #7


    Thanks for the offer of help, but I decided to let it be, and buy a new canoe instead. I guess someday in the future I'd like to have either a cedar strip canoe or a canvas canoe, but for now I don't have the time or the space for a restoration.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Sauf West London


    Tell us more about the canoe...any more photos?
    ' can led a horse to water but a pencil must be lead...' Stan Laurel

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